The weight of this word is immensely draining, powerful and liberating. Each of us are in one of these categories. Forgiving to some people may force you to believe that what that person has done to you has now been excused and justified because you took the step to forgive. It seems almost impossible to forgive when they have destroyed you to the core. Unforgiving hearts hold rage and bitterness that grabs ahold of your heartstrings convincing you that they deserve to be treated poorly now that they have wronged you. Ask yourself this: what power does this hold over your life by not forgiving them? Maybe pride, arrogance, control, or selfishness? Really you’ve gained nothing but a bitter heart.
For others, maybe forgiving comes really easy to you. You understand we all make mistakes, we let others down from time to time and we all need forgiveness to help move ahead in life
And for the remainder of you, you may be somewhere in between. Feeling you are a forgiving person only to realize days, months and years later you never really dealt with it and truly forgave them. Now you find it comes up in ways you never expected, leaving you angry that years have passed by and you really haven’t moved ahead.
I’ve seen bitterness take root in a few people and the depths of the anger has been extremely astonishing to me how deep the bitterness resides within them. It’s scary to me how much blame is poured on those around them unwilling to accept responsibility for ones own actions truly believing that they are entirely innocent. Unforgiving hearts lead to immense anger and blame and at that point it gets scary!
Forgiveness is very challenging and can vary depending on the depth in which you’ve been wronged. You know, Christ was the ultimate sacrifice; forgiving the very men who spat on Him, beat Him, tantalized Him, and even crucified Him. After reminding yourself of this, how than can you justify not forgiving your enemy? Forgiving does NOT mean they haven’t sinned against you or that they are right in their actions and are free to continue to treat you poorly. Forgiveness must come from Christ allowing him to heal your heart of the pain that comes with it and without expecting something in return. You are NOT responsible for them or for their actions, you must forgive to continue to grow your own heart and walk with Christ free of guilt and shame, free of bitterness and anger.
Moment of Truth: Who have you not forgiven that you know needs your forgiveness? If you are struggling with the pain from this person, seek the Lord and ask for help to forgive them without holding expectations that they will become someone different; someone who treats you properly. Ask for guidance to become the person God has created you to be without holding a grudge on your loving enemies.